No absolutely outstanding reads this week, though I did get through seven books which is pretty impressive! I was really impressed with Brightly Woven, and absolutely cackled with laughter in We Were On a Break. Buy any of these books from Booktopia!
We Were On a Break – Lindsey Kelk (4 stars)
What an adorably cute romantic comedy of errors. Adam and Liv are on track to get engaged; instead, they somehow find themselves taking a break from each other. Told from both partners’ perspectives, it was a fantastic insight into a relationship on hold. Some of my favourite moments revolved around Liv’s profession as a vet – delivering a calf with a hangover definitely doesn’t sound fun, but was funny as a reader! I loved it, and not only because of its early Gogglebox reference! (Side note: if you don’t watch Gogglebox, give it a chance – truly one of the funniest shows I have ever seen!)
Eligible – Curtis Sittenfeld (4 stars)
This was a really fun Pride and Prejudice adaptation for the modern world. There’s talk of IVF, and online dating apps. Mrs Bennet is a bit racist and close-minded. Mr Bingley appeared on a Bachelor-esque dating show. It was a lot of fun, and held a lot of truths about modern dating, and modern living. The relationship between Lizzy and her parents was particularly insightful.
On the Blue Train – Kristel Thornell (Australian author) (2 stars)
This book was a sad disappointment. I am so intrigued by Agatha Christie’s eleven-day disappearance (ever since discovering this fact through a Doctor Who episode), and was excited to read Thornell’s interpretation of it. However, from the very first sentence I found the writing stilted, and sorely lacking in verbs. Moments were interesting, but overall I was very, very bored. It had the potential to have been a sort of Mrs Dalloway, but it fell far, far short.
Zero Waste Home – Bea Johnson (3 stars)
I’ve been interested in reducing the clutter in my room, and eventually one day my own place of residence. I tried with Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying, but she recommended getting rid of ALL BOOKS – definitely not the one for me. Bea Johnson had some really useful tips for reducing your impact, and living a simpler life. However, it was definitely more about a lifestyle, and less about the little things you can do. I will keep this book in mind to adopt some of the listed methods when I have a household of my own to run, but for the moment it isn’t particularly relevant or plausible for my stage in life.
Anecdotes of the Cynics – Various (4 stars)
A selection of pieces written by the Cynic philosophers. At times funny, the overwhelming sentiment is that to be happy, it pays to live a simple, self-sufficient life. After a quick Google, I also discovered that the Cynics were often known as ‘dogs’ due to their incessant ‘barking’, their indifference to civilised life, their shamelessness, and the way in which they fiercely guarded their philosophical tenets. Definitely a group to research further, when time allows.
Speaking of Siva – Anon (2 stars)
This Little Black Classic made me think that a bit more context is needed for each book. I didn’t gain enjoyment out of this particular snippet due to my complete lack of knowledge about where it came from. Apparently (according to Goodreads) the free-verse sayings come from the Virasaiva religious movement, and were written by four major saints. I think this is something I would definitely have liked more, had I had more prior knowledge.
The Nightingales are Drunk – Hafez (3 stars)
Hafez was an Iranian poet in the 1300s, and this is a small selection of his poetry. I enjoyed the lyricism in the poems, and the repetition, but I just feel like something was missing, or got lost… (Then again, poetry isn’t my strongest genre, so maybe I’m missing the central message!)
Brightly Woven – Alexandra Bracken (4 stars)
I really liked Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger right at the beginning of this year. And my colleague encouraged me to try this one, which is sadly pretty hard to find nowadays! It was an incredibly sweet book, with marvellous characters. The world-building and the magic system could have been a little bit more detailed, but I loved it nonetheless. Unique, and very, very sweet. I love boys like North! And I love the trope whereby romantic partners hate each other initially (blame Lizzie Bennet and Mr Darcy) so Sydelle’s anger at him made me even happier!
What have you been reading this week?